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Schrag: Council needs diverse voices

Posted: September 24, 2013 - 7:40pm

A recent online post (anonymous of course) accused me of “hatred of all things City Hall.” This is absolutely not true; most of City Hall is pleasant to deal with. Council Chambers on the other hand is another matter. It has come to the point where I dread going there to testify about something that I believe in. I have both witnessed and experienced too many interruptions of calm and reasoned testimony. For myself this is an annoyance, but for others less comfortable with public testimony, it has a chilling effect and discourages involvement. Seeing this kind of treatment of others prevents some residents from even attempting to come before Council, especially if their position is one of opposition to what is being discussed.

I am not willing to abandon what I believe in and that is why I am running for a seat at the front of the room. By being elected, I hope to effect a change and make Council Chambers a pleasant place to be and more tolerant of diverse opinions. All of City Hall needs to be inviting and accountable to those who live and do business in Kenai.

Another reason for running is to bring representation to a large segment of the community that has been marginalized because of their philosophy of development; one that is not shared by some in current leadership positions. This philosophy is not anti-development, as has sometimes been charged. But one more focused on the importance of residential development as part of a healthy balance between residential and business interests. Nothing runs well when it is out of balance.

If elected to the front of the room, I will bring strength of conviction and a willingness to work in a collaborative fashion with both leadership and community members. I would appreciate your vote!

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